Elaine, a 21-year-old newcomer who hails from South Africa, is breaking continental boundaries by giving R&B a fresh face. Born Ndivhuwo Elaine Mukheli in Pretoria, the singer cites the late Lebo Mathosa and Brenda Fassie as helping pave the way for South African female singers, along with Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill and Beyoncé as early inspirations. While studying in school, Elaine had the urge to create her first project that later shaped into the now-Platinum Elements. Self-released in September 2019, the debut EP is a journey through love, heartbreak and renewal. The blend of mellow yet sweet R&B melodies with hints of trap-inspired moodiness in the vein of Jhene Aiko and Summer Walker ended up making history: Elaine became the first female independent artist to reach No. 1 on the Apple Music Sub-Saharan African charts, and she is now the most streamed female artist in South Africa. The EP features breakout track “Changes,” which received airplay on The Joe Budden Podcast, and sleek banger “Say It,” which was featured on Ebro In The Morning. Known for “her rich vocals, great style, and vulnerable lyrics” according to Teen Vogue, Elaine is just getting started and is currently at work on her debut album via Columbia Records.